Hitfraturr. SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF DAVYTH AP GWYLYM. (Continuedfroin a former number.) A full and authentic history of the life of Davytli ap Gwy- lym would he a grpat literary treasure; not only would it throw much light upon the poetry and manners of his age, it would nodotibt add to our historical knowledge. Unhappily, however, the only materials extant for such a work, consist of a few traditionary anecdotes preserved in manuscript, and the allusions to his persunalhistory contained in the bard's own poems. The exact year of his birth is involved in obscu- rity, but we possess data from which it may be conclusively established that he began and ended his days within the four- teenth century. Even the spot of his nativity has furnished food for controversy and our bard may be numbered among the men of genius whose birthplace has been a subject of patriotic rivalry accordingly, on one hand we find the island of Anglesea* strenuously laying claim to this honour, while on the other it appears to be satisfactorily proved that the poet first saw the light (about the year 1340,) at a place called Bro Gwynin, in the parish of lilanbadarn Vawr, in the county of Cardigan. It is recorded in an old poem which has been handed down to us that Taliesin, the most celebra- ted of the ancient Welsh bards, foretold the honour that awaited this spot, in being the birth-place of a minstrel whose song would be as the sweetness of wine f.' Davyth ap Gwilym was of noble origin. On the paternal side he was allied to some of the most illustrious families of North Wales his father Gwilym Gam, being a descendant of Llywarch ab Bran, head of one of the fifteen tribes' who composed the aristocracy § of that division of Wales, and related by marriage to Owen Gwynedd, a monarch no less distinguished as a patron of genius than by the valour and sagacity with which he protected the liberties of his country against the ambitious projects of Henry II, On his mother's side the poet was connected with the Magnates os the south- ern division of the principality; his mother, Ardudval, being the sister of Llywelyn ab Gwilym Vychan, of Emlyn, a per- son of considerable importance in that part of the country, and styled in some accounts I the lord of Cardigan.' Yet, whatever may have been Davydd ap Gwilym's pretensions to an illustrious descent, there is reason to believe that his birth was illegitimate, '1r, at least, that the union of his parents, if it had been previously sanctioned by legal rites, had not received the countenance of their friends. At no distant period, however, a reconciliation must have been effected, as the embryo bard was taken in his infancy under the protection of his uncle, Llywelyn ab Gwilym, who is related to have been a man of some parts. He accordingly became his nephew's tutor, and seems to have discovered in him the early indications of that particular talent, for which he was afterwards so conspicuous, and in the cultivation of which Llewylyn afforded his young pupil all the encourage- ment and assistance in his power. About the age of fifteen, Davydd ap Gwilym returned to his paternal home, where, however, he resided but a short time, owing, as it would appear, to the unpleasant bickerings that took place between him and his parents, in consequence of his satirical propensities, which, even at that early age, he could not jestrain. Some of his effusions, written during this period, have been preserved and, what- ever ingenuity they may evince, considering the years of the writer, they are by no means indicative of his filial affection. These domestic altercations caused the young bard once more to be separated from his natural guardians and we accord- ingly find him, at an early age, enjoying, at Maesaleg in Monmouthshire, the friendship and patronage of Ivor Hael, a near relative of his fathert. (to be continued.) The ground on which it has been contended that the poet was a native of Anglesea is, that there was a house called Bro Gynin in that island but it is plain that Bro Gynin in South Wales, must be the place of his birth, for, in many passages of his works, he calls himself a native of Bro Gadell, or the Country of Cadell.' Now this term is a poetical appellation for South Wales Rod i. kng of Wales, having, in 877, divided the principality among his sons, when South Wales fell to the share of his son Cadell. f Brydydd a'i gywydd fal gwin.' "These IJwythau or tribes were the nobility of North Wales. They commenced extremely early, and at different times were lords of distinct districts, and called to that honour by several princes. The latest were about the time of Davydd ap Owen Gwynedd, who began his reign in 1169. We are left ignorant of the form by which they were called to this rank. All we know is, that each of them enjoyed some office in the court of oiirpi-iiiees, which seemsto have been hereditary, and probably attendant on the honour."— Pennant's Tour in North Wales. t I voi- Hael was, by both parents, of a noble Iiiieage by his mother's side he was decended from Rhys ab Tewdwr. He was the owner of several houses in South Wales, one of which, the old mansion of Gwenallt in Monmouthshire, was lately, if it be not still, in existence. The house, that was the usual residence of our poet, has long been in ruins. The Rev, Evan Evans, author of Dissertatio de Bardis, has made it the theme of his muse in the following couplet Y llwybrau gynt lie bu'r gan Yw Ileoedd y ddylluan." Lo now the moping owlets liaunt Where erst was heard the muse's chant. Ivor is numbered among the ancestors of the family of Tredager,
For tlte Demetian Mirror. Transcript of a Document upon the OFFICE of RAGLER, formerly existing in the County of Cardigan, in South Wales, from among the Lans- downe MSS. in the British Museum. It is a Petition or Representation, indorsed in Lord Burghley's hand with these words, "Contra Wm Herle: the Raglarshippe A. D. 1577. Contra Wm. Herle, ye Raglarshippe. A brife note of the troble and vexacon. of three or fower thowsand of the poreste sorte of people of the county of Cardigan, wch are trobled by the meanes of William Hearle, an vnkinde and combersome man to his owne contry people, who procureth them to be sewed in the Exehequor, for a supposed custome or seasse of otes, wch vpon necessity hath been vsed by the constables of certeine castles vpon their discrefjon when rebellion was vsed in that contry, from the tyme of Edward the Firste vntill the reigne of Kinge Henry the Fourthe (at weh tyme hit seassed), and a rente of xxs. by the yere hathe ben paide in Ive thereof. "Imprimis, that, when King Edward the First sawe he colde not bringe the Brittons, or Welshemen, vnto conformitye from spoylinge eache other and the marches, he buylded the castles of Abervistowthe, Cardigan, and suche like, to get garisons herein alwaies to be at hande to suppresse those people wch lyved in woods and marisshes, and spoyled those good men wch were come to obedyence. And the constables of those castles when they had served vpon the disordred sorte of Welshemen wold, when they had travyled far from their garrisons, put upon the poor tenants (and not vpon the Gentlemen or free- holders) their horses for a nighte, and take meat of them, as it vsed in Irelande, by way of seasse, wch poore men, to be defended, gaue of goodwill onelie (for the tyme) the foresaid otes and meate, and not to haue contynewaunce, neither was their euer any ccrtenty of hit lymited. Item, that this was sometyme vsed vpon neces- sity, from the reigne of Edwarde the Firste, vntill the reigne of Kinge Henry the Fourthe, at wch tyme, the cause of the trobles beinge taken awaye, that custom seassed. Yet vpon surveyes, that kinde of placinge of horse and takinge of meate, was charged as auena pro vno equo in sundry places in the shere pro vna nocte, not namynge, as before, howe many nights in the yere that should be had, nor what should be geven to eache horse, and so a rent of xxs. by the yere was reserved. "Item, that the poore inhabitance fearinge that some suche (as is happened into the cause) wolde troble them, made sewte vnto Kinge Phe' and Q. Mary, to be incorporated and made able to receyve graunts, and made like sewte to have a fee farme of that seasse for xxs. p annu', wch was graunted them by the said King Phe' and Q. Mary, wth a proviso in that graunte, that yf the rente of xxs. were demaunded of those that were incorporat of that County of Cardigan, in that contry of Cardigan, and it not paid wthin vj wekes, that then the same graunte to be voyd. "Item, that they the said contrymen not being demaunded of the said rente of xxs. in the contry, neither the receyvor of Southwales sithens cominge into that shere, paid not that xxs. by yere, alwaies lokinge for some to demaunde that rente. "Item, that the said Willm Hearle lieng in weighte to make gayne (not passinge whome or howe many he did troble to proffitt him selfe) pcured an office to be founde in Middlesex, that the saide rente of xxs. was behinde and vnpaid, and thervpon toke a newe lease for vjli. xiijs. iiijd p annu. of the Q. matie for that demaunde of otes, vpon the wch he hath caused a sewte to be comenced in the Exehequor, in her mati", name, againste those number of poore men to their great costs, and in the end to their spoyle, yf belpe be not had againste his subtell devises. Wherefore, in humble sorte, may it please yor honorable lordshippe to haue considerafon and com- passion to the number of poore people to be vndon and hurte, to the vncertenty of the demaunde, to the length of the tyme sithens it was used, what sorte of men that are to be charged, of the man that trobleth them, and to consider howe, in reson and lawe, her matie is tyed to her graunte, wch saieth, that si debito modo petatur infra com Cardigan the same xxs, p annu'. And therevpon for charities sake, to be as a patron and meane to the Q,. Matie for their helpe, and they will and shall haue cause to pray for yor honors prosperus estate from defendinge of them from the wolfe." ( to be continued. ) MS. Lansd. xxviii. art. 49.
SIR WALTER SCOTT The people of Scotland have just begun the erection of a monument to the memory of Sir WALTER SCOTT. No one can object to national honours to a clever writer, and SCOTT was certainly a very clever novelist, if he failed as a poet, and made no approach to success as a historian. But our objection is to the coxcombry of raising sub- scriptions for the grave of a man, whom the Scotch suffered to die in penury. Sixpence a piece from those who now talk of offering him posthumous honours, would have restored his ruined fortune, saved his feelings from many a pang, and probably pro- longed his life. And now, when all is too late, and the novelist broken down, they come with their speeches, and processions, and masonic frippery, and erect pillars and statues. The present folly in Edinburgh is to cost £ 12,000. Who can doubt that this money would have saved SCOTT from the bitter- ness of spirit with which he obviously felt his fall. Such, too, was the national absurdity in the instance of BURNS, the most popular poet .that Scotland ever produced, or probably will ever produce. All the bounty of Scotch nobles could not give the unfortu- nate man bread; all the liberality af the high Scotch officials-and they had in those days, the whole pa- tronage of Government—could give him nothing but a miserable Excise place of £.50 a year; and all the liberality of the nation suffered him to die a beggar. Yet he was no sooner a corpse than statues, ceno- taphs, pillars, and all the costly mockeries of public sympathy started up in all quarters. The price of any one of them would have set the unhappy man at his ease for life. But he was suffered to sink, day by day, until life was worn out of him in bitterness; and then all was monuments and mummery. Sir WILLIAM RAE made a speech on the late occasion. We think that he might have asked, why all this bounty might not have been exhibited while ScoTT was alive to be the better for it. The monument may be to Sir WALTER'S honour, but it is to the shame of his country. Britannia.